>> reporter: crashes are a well-known part of the nascar experience. watch this 25-car pileup in 2012, and in this carl edwards' crash in 2009, eight fans were injured. >> oh, my gosh. >> welcome back to daytona international raceway. >> reporter: but it's gender not carnage that will have millions of fans glued to the daytona 500 today. for the first time ever, a woman, danica patrick, leads the race after winning pole position, a coveted spot in the front of the track. now, race officials say they have been working through the night to get the track ready to go today, and of course, mend that fence, they could get some extra time. it could rain today. we could see some delays. dan? >> matt gutman, thank you. let's bring in allen bestwick who is on the scene calling the race for our partner network, espn. allen, has years of experience on the track. allen, thank you for being with us this morning. let me ask you on the air yesterday, you described this crash as "shocking but not surprising." those were your words.